Welcome to the #BeadPeepsSwap N Hop!!Wooooweeeee! What an INCREDIBLE few months!
Just to recap:
As the hostess, it was something I've never done before and it was certainly an adventure for me. But more on that another day. The task at hand is - soooo....what'd ya make?
Lemme introduce my partners again:Because I was the hostess, when I was finished matching everyone I had 1 gal left over. So, I took her as an extra partner - and boy am I glad I did!
I had Marica of Bead Lovelies who happens to live in Malta. (An island nation off the coast of Sicily) She creates polymer clay components and makes beautiful jewelry!
You can find her here, too:
ANDJessica lives in Alaska. She has a family of 6 children (#6 was born during the challenge!) and they are gold miners. She is a lampworker, metal worker and jewelry designer.
Here's what we went sent each other:(Please note: You may click on any photo to enlarge it)
|A sampling of the beads she sent + some suede cording|
|Yeah - these went into the "Private Collection"|
Here are the final pieces:Piece #1
This is the first piece I made of the 3. This was a real struggle AND triumph for me. So, as the hostess, I had a REALLY good reason for choosing Marica.... while we both have outstanding personalities and can really mess with each other in good fun, we have VERY different styles. She's earthy and clay-y, while I'm more....Rainbow Bright. So, while I figured she'd be a *fun* partner, I knew it'd be a SERIOUS challenge for me. (I had *NO IDEA* how much of a challenge I'd face!)
Being someone who works in bright colors, opening my package to see brown, copper, tan and khaki with a pinch of gold and green thrown in - nearly made me cry. What the flim-flam would I do with THAT?!?!
I sat on it - for a looooong time. I'd pull them out.... mix and match this and that....put them away. I'd pull them out....mix and match this and that.....put them away. You get the idea. I consulted friends, who offered great suggestions! I just couldn't get "into" it. (I realized I was trying to match the accent gorgeous seafoam green accent color on the tiki - nearly impossible when you're purchasing online) Until one day, it finally hit me!
Tiki's are typically found around beaches...... how's about some amazonite? JACKPOT! I pulled those babies out, put them with the STUNNING little copper, fire polish beads Marica had sent and WHAM! I have a piece! Except. It's heavy. REALLY heavy - both in physical weight and in visual weight. Curses!
So, I kept the 1 side of the amazonite and started playing with the other goodies she sent me, including the little jaspers and glass bicones. The lampwork beads added just enough visual weight to make it PERFECTION! (there were a few other iterations as well, but I won't bore you with the details) DINGDINGDING We HAVE A WINNER! So, now you see..... piece #1. (And I pretty much LOVE IT!)
|Asymmetric piece with Marica's Tiki head|
|Details (Click to enlarge)|
I REALLY wanted to use some more of the beads Marica had sent. She sent quite a large bag of the little round jaspers. So, I set out to make a multistrand piece - mostly because they are beautiful and frankly - a challenge. I played and played and played. I didn't want the spacers to be all copper, since the other piece I made was all copper - so I pulled out some seed beads (gasp!) that were a free gift, in all different metals and alternated them. It gave the piece mixed metals, and added a little drama.
I used one of the clasps that she had sent (which I think is tre-chic!) in the leaf shape. So, I wanted something that would compliment it, on the other side. The acorn was a piece I had in my stash and thought it went really well with the leaf shape of the other clasp, so the acorn it was (hey - kinda earthy - huh?). And yes - you can detach the necklace part and use as a bracelet. BOOM!
Jessica's package was also, quite a challenge for me. I had chosen Jessica for several reasons...1. I thought it was AMAZING that she lives in Alaska 2. We have a very common thread of faith that runs through us 3. She just seemed like a sweetly cool chick.
As I mentioned earlier, Jessica is a metal smith, lampworker and dabbles in many other things that have to do with fire. I was QUITE excited when my package arrived from Alaska. So VERY cool!
I think my largest challenges with this package was that it's asymmetric (as we have seen earlier, I've not done anything like that before) and featured both opaque AND transparent glass. It's tough to mix the 2 different types and get a great result. SO, I had to figure out something that would speak to both the opaque heavy and the transparent lightness.
I thought long and hard about this one. I had this idea to use some of the connection pieces that I've started making, and see if somehow I could tie everything together with them. SHOCKINGLY, I had already purchased the colors that happened to be in her piece! So, I set out to make different shapes and sizes that would compliment and tie the shapes and colors together. Each is hand painted (including the flowers to mimic her piece), hand resined and I punched the pieces with my new handy-dandy itty bitty hole puncher. I've never made a piece like this and I've NEVER made (or used) a 3 way connector before.
I'm REALLY proud of this piece and LOVE how it came out!
|Jessica MADE the focal bead|
|The whole piece|
Overall - I'm SO PROUD of myself for rising to the challenges. One thing, that's been REALLY important to ME with these challenges, is that I learn something new with each one. I feel like I'm robbing myself of the experience, if I don't do something new to me. Beyond that, it helps me to feel comfortable trying something out of the box and not being afraid to fail and try again. THAT is why I love challenges like this. You NEVER know what you're going to learn and how you're going to be stretched.
I pray that the rest of you pushed yourselves, tried something new, branched out and that most of all - you had a GREAT experience! THANK YOU for playing along with me! See you next winter for Round #2! Don't forget to check out your partner's blog and comment on it! =)
Your Fearless Leader!,
Check out all my friends who participated!
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